Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Inferno by Dan Brown

Hardback:  463 pages
Genre: Thriller
Publisher:  Bantam Press 2013

Source:  Tywyn Public Library, Wales.
First Sentences: I am the Shade. Through the dolent city I flee. Through the eternal woe, I take flight.
Along the banks of the river Arno, I scramble breathless....turning left onto Via dei Castellani, making my way northward, huddling in the shadows of the Uffizi.
Favourite Quote: "His essay essentially declared that the human race was on the brink of extinction and that unless we had a catastrophic  event that precipitously decreased global population growth, our species would not survive another hundred years."
Review Quote: "Fast, clever, well-informed.Dan Brown is the master of the intellectual cliff-hanger" (Wall Street Journal)
Favourite Quote: “The human mind has a primitive ego defence mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle. It’s called Denial.” 
Literary Awards:  Goodreads Choice Awards 2013
My Opinion: Frighteningly realistic.

At the beginning of the novel Dan Brown presents us with some facts which for me add to the enjoyment of the story. To tempt you to read this novel for yourself I am reproducing two of them here. 

1. All artwork, literature, science and historical references in this novel are real.
2.'Inferno' is the underworld as described in Dante Alighieri's epic poem 'The Divine Comedy', which portrays hell as an elaborately structured realm populated by entities known as "shades" - bodiless souls trapped between life and death.

The grounding of Dan Brown's stories in the real world is what makes them so appealing to me. Surprisingly whilst writing this review I discovered that despite having read and enjoyed his previous novels, I have not written a review before now. My favourite of his novels has always been Angels and Demons although it now has to compete for that honour with this his latest offering. A story that is frightening in the face of the facts that this is something that could really happen! Familiar with some of the settings in this novel meant I was able to visualise the places which Dan Brown describes so accurately. His research and attention to detail is as always excellent and the descriptions he includes add to the enjoyment of the novel.

Inferno is the fourth novel to feature the symbologist Robert Langdon and in this latest adventure he finds his life in under threat and he does not know why. He awakens in hospital and has no memory of what happened to him or why he has a macabre object hidden in his clothes. The threat to his life leads him to try to get away from his pursuers by trying to escape via Florence's hidden passageways. Accompanying him on this latest adventure is Sienna Brooks the doctor who had been looking after him.
Realising there is something vast at stake and with a clue from Dante's Inferno to direct them to other clues it is a race against time. Along the way and discovering further clues in the artwork of the Renaissance, they start to fit together answers to the puzzle. Will these answers save the world though? 

I just wish my husband had lived long to read this one as he was a fan of Dan Brown and as an ex-scientist would have had a lot to discuss with me.  As this novel is so frighteningly realistic, it is open to discussion and therefore a good choice for book-clubs. Also of course recommended to all fans of Dan Brown and maybe some new readers looking for a good thriller that is not far fetched but a situation that could arise. 

                                           DAN BROWN INFERNO INTERVIEW BBC WORLD  

Author Profile

Dan Brown was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, The United States on June 22nd 1964. The eldest of three children he grew up eldest of three children, he grew up on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy, where his father was a teacher of mathematics. His interest in secrets and puzzles stems from their presence in his household as a child, where codes and ciphers were the linchpin tying together the mathematics, music and languages in which his parents worked. 
As a youngster he spent hours working out anagrams and crossword puzzles, and he and his siblings participated in elaborate treasure hunts devised by their father on birthdays and holidays.
He writes thriller fiction and is best known for the 2003 bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. It is obvious from his writing that he is interested in cryptography, codes, and keys. Although many see Dan Brown's books as anti-Christian, Brown is a Christian who says that his book The Da Vinci Code is simply "an entertaining story that promotes spiritual discussion and debate" and suggests that the book may be used "as a positive catalyst for introspection and exploration of our faith."

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and his writing. 


  1. I haven't read this, but generally enjoy Dan Brown. Nice write up!

    1. Thanks Ladyfi, good to have you call by the book blog, hope to see you here again. :)

  2. i lived in Exeter for almost 25 years. But, I have never read a Dan Brown book. Maybe I will find the time to read this one.

    1. Do let me know if you decide to read this one, what you think of it. :)


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